One More Time for Those in the Back . . .

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A response to Mass Proletariat

Criticism is a gift. It is a gift in two ways: The first way is that it offers revolutionary communists a way to confront our work, to challenge and correct ourselves if we are in error—that is, if the criticism is correct. The second way, which concerns us here, is when the criticism is overall incorrect. Offering the opportunity to respond to misconceptions, lies, or absurdity is also a gift. Politics is an act of demarcation. The criticism contained in the recent polemic issued against us by Mass Proletariat (MP) is really nothing new. We have heard so much of this before from a few individuals in revisionist organizations placed indirectly, and we are glad to have a chance to respond organizationally, since an organization (we presume they are an organization) has regurgitated these claims.

For starters, we have little understanding of what MP actually does—what their day-to-day work consists of or what kind of base-building they’ve accomplished over the past year. The shortage of statements and the lack of evidence that Maoism is even a force in Boston makes it hard for us to respond in kind to their attempts to prove we are not Maoists. Maybe they can prove to the world that they are Maoists, as the only evidence at our disposal proves only that they are bloggers who vaguely reference “mass work.” Lack of credentials aside, what they have produced is worth responding to even though our response is intended solely to prove them wrong and ourselves right.

Some of their criticisms go back to a few individuals in Portland. Others are rehashed from Austin Social(fasc)ist Collective or their network, Menshevik Center. The former deserves no official recognition, and the latter have already been addressed. It is good to receive polemics. The more we are politically attacked, the stronger our collective has become, and we are grateful for the experience offered by would-be opposition.

The first glaring bit of misinformation is that “RGA promotes antifa work under its command as the primary task.” We do not actually promote “antifa work”—we promote communist-led antifascist organizing and self-defense. We also do not consider this to be the “primary task.” Our documents since our founding have insisted that building the party is the principal task of revolutionaries. To defeat fascism long-term, the US needs the communist party, founded on and guided by Marxism-Leninism-Maoism.

MP seeks low-hanging fruit by invoking the “red anarchist” line presented by others who are also bad at investigation. We have consistently criticized the anarchist conception of “antifa” and have stressed the need for keeping class struggle as the key link and the necessity of the party as central to all antifascist activity. We have organized a more centralized response to fascism locally with a degree of military discipline. And yet they dedicate a whole section to this baseless charge of “tailing antifa.” In order to do so they must knowingly ignore all the other mass work and mass organizations developed or initiated by our organization. Had they taken the time to read our most recent statements, they would have seen how we stress that it is not enough to just confront reactionaries physically, and that we must serve the people and struggle to lead in their day-to-day struggles against slumlords, bosses, and the police.

MP’s limited and dim view has them reaching the conclusion that genuine communists can be active in a thing—in this case antifascism—without changing it. As Marxists we understand first that “antifa” is not a homogenous group; it is a movement with internal contradictions and varied ideas—advanced, intermediate, and backward—contained within it. We can see no justification for communists to oppose using the mass line method of leadership within the antifascist movement to consolidate the advanced and win over the intermediate to correct the backward. The antifascist movement looks strikingly different in Austin than it does in other places as a result of this approach. Much as with the Black Lives Matter movement, there are those with good ideas who are committed to rebelling and then there are those looking for grants, book deals, or positions in bourgeois office. But like “antifa,” BLM is not homogenous. There are contradictions and struggles which took place in that movement, and it is always up to communists to fight for our political lines in the mass movement. MP, by their own admittedly limited scope, chooses (at least according to their blog anyway) to focus only on organizing one job site. This is syndicalism, which avoids intervention in the mass movement for the sake of economism.

We see no principled reason not to carry out political and mass work among antifascists, always on the basis of struggling for unity, doing away with bad models, and improving antifascist work. To suggest that seeking principled unity with antifascists is “tailing antifa” without explaining how we are “tailing” is not a criticism—it’s nothing more than throwing shade without analysis. Since there is nothing of substance in their explicit argument, their objection to RGA’s participation in militant antifascism seems to boil down to nothing more than a position that communists should not be active in antifascist struggles. But coming out with this position directly would alienate any support they hope for, so they have to add dressing.

MP suggests that we ignore other class enemies, when in fact even the most brief examination of our work would show that RGA was born in anti-police struggles, and at no point in time have we ever stopped struggling against the police—and what is more, the police themselves struggle against us physically, and seek us by name specifically. Not only does MP systematically ignore our mass work outside of antifascism, but they ignore the state repression our mass work has earned.

We have no interest in exposing our links to open mass organizations publicly, and it would be irresponsible to do so. Their paper opportunistically relies on the contradiction between open and secret work. They are aware that we will not detail our networks publicly but know full well that we have and remain active in a diversity of mass struggles, be they to provide basic necessities, or fighting for housing, or organizing in the workplace or against the police. And none of this has taken a backseat to antifascism.

rgburntrump

Let’s unpack their claims then.

MP writes, “To instead seek to unify people around opposition to the ‘coming fascist threat’—as RGA does—reflects the bourgeois premise that people will not be able to struggle together until they are confronted with an imminent violent threat to their existence. This is often portrayed in Hollywood productions in the form of alien invasions bringing at long last the unification of humanity.”

This notion flies in the face of the basic Maoist conception of the united front, which is formed when, due to their mutually being confronted by a greater enemy, the proletariat, peasantry, petite bourgeoisie, and national bourgeoisie enter into a temporary alliance led by the proletariat. Of course there are conditions which can unite or ally class forces who under normal conditions would not seek unity. In this process, as described by Mao, the principal contradiction between the proletariat and bourgeoisie becomes the secondary contradiction, replaced by the contradiction between the people and imperialism. Apparently MP believes that this Maoist principle is a bourgeois one and no unity can be found on the basis of a rising fascist populism. We suppose they think that Mao too must be considered a bourgeois thinker influenced by Hollywood.

The threat of fascism is something that is not in the mail: it is on our doorsteps—not in the form of the state being fascist (and we have never claimed it is) but in the form of a popular movement for fascism which must not be allowed to grow simply because the state itself has not gone fascist. We cannot speculate on conditions in Boston; however, Texas and other parts of the South are hotbeds for far-right and fascist movements. They have been known to attack book fairs, May Day celebrations, and even anarchist bookstores. Essentially MP suggests that we do nothing in the face of this material threat. Perhaps they have the disposition to allow fascists to march in the streets of Boston; however, we are not ashamed that we lack this disposition. In essence they have issued a polemic which criticizes us for attacking neo-Nazis. We stand by our politics, which are for unifying as many as we can against fascists, be they in or out of power. MP presents zero analysis of fascism, the conditions that serve it, or how it comes to power. This reveals first their ignorance and second their lack of experience with confronting fascism.

For arguing that fascism is a growing threat, they accuse us of being “fortune tellers,” yet it is they who refuse to actually engage with fascism’s global increase. They reject the very basic political economy of Marxism to go instead for what they think is low-hanging fruit. The fact is, the rate of profit has steadily been falling since the 1950s, and the intensifying global crisis of profitability explains the deepening crisis of imperialism, which corresponds to rising fascism all over the world. You do not need a crystal ball to see this—you need only to be paying attention and using Marxist political economy to analyze conditions. As historical materialists we know that things do not just appear in history; they are developed by class struggle. The rise of fascism in the 1930s did not come from nowhere; it occurred in conditions of imperialist crisis akin to our own.

Our position is not that the ruling class has already adopted a fascist form of government, but that a concrete analysis of concrete conditions proves to us that the conditions for fascism are ripe and still ripening. Imperialism is in crisis, and fascist organizations have grown and become more bold. Fascism does not arrive readymade from the sky and so we should not wait for it to come to power before we oppose it and organize against it. We must do that now, and any sober revolutionary would agree with this. Fascists use their power in the streets as a means to unify the most backward masses. The ability to accomplish this must be stripped from them, and to neglect this work is to betray the people.

Antifascism and the mass line

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To better situate our position on antifascism in the context of our overall political orientation and mass work, we would like to go back a bit in recent history. In Austin, there has for at least a decade consistently been a small group of antifascists who have done good work with the numbers they had. With no disrespect to the value of this work, we must say that this group never numbered more than a few, and focused mostly on intelligence-gathering and other necessary tasks. What they lacked however was the mass line method of communist leadership.

In order to achieve numbers and consistent street victories against fascists, many more must be mobilized. Our first antifascist action was detailed in our one-year summation. At that action our collective and the other comrades mentioned did not number even a dozen, but nonetheless we disrupted a fascist and reactionary action against an abortion clinic which was attended by five times as many enemies. It is no shame to admit that we were learning by doing, and that we made mistakes. Today we commonly mobilize over a hundred antifascists whose discipline is measurably higher than what we were able to achieve back then. We did not accomplish this by writing scathing polemics, but through deliberate and patient mass work and thorough experience in the streets, correcting mistakes, and applying new tactics—rupturing with the old, conventional, anarchist/antifa model of organic and leaderless resistance. To sum it up, we accomplished this quantitative and qualitative shift through the mass line.

MP brags about “taking proletarian jobs.” Most of us have no agency in this. We do not get to consider finding a job to be anything but a necessity—because we are actually proletarians. We are of the people and we remain among the people. Our people are working-class in multinational neighborhoods. We speak to our people daily about conditions in the country and in the world, and we gather their ideas. These discussions bear fruit. We understand how our people felt at the news of Charlottesville and we know how proud they feel every time we organize a successful action which runs the fascists out of town. We have organized smaller actions as well as larger ones with 800 to 1,200 in attendance with a large core of antifascists under communist leadership. At these actions over the past year it is the masses themselves who show gratitude. Parents are overheard telling their children that the “people in red masks are the good guys.” We do not seek recognition for this work from a handful of bloggers or activists in Boston who fancy their voluntary acceptance of finding real jobs a glowing success. We do not carry out this work for recognition at all; we do it mainly out of love for our people and their need for communities that are safe from marauding racists calling for their extermination, slavery, or deportation.

Trump’s presidency has not only passed fascist policies, but mainly it has whipped fascists up into a fervor, which has more than once resulted in murder or attempted murder. There is a dual aspect to this reality, because while they are clearly spreading fascist populism, the very same policies and rhetoric have catalyzed many into action against the very same policies and rhetoric. Many have a new interest in communism, and Trump has in some ways been great for recruitment. Simply put, if any organization ignores the ideas of the masses or their interests, this organization will fail to grow, and it will not be able to survive direct fascist attack or overcome them physically. It will not be able to survive the legal repercussions or attempted murder inflicted on antifascists and Maoists in our city. We have a saying here in Austin: when you attack one of us, three more rise up. Fighting against both state and non-state reactionaries is in service to the people, and we have no interest in relenting in this fight. It is after all the police whom we have fought the most.

When we fight racists in the streets, contrary to what MP argues, it is not detached from the overall struggles of our class. We have seen in Austin how fascism coincides with and relates to gentrification with the struggles against Blue Cat Café. We have demonstrated that it is about politics: when we fought fascists earlier this month, it was not because we just don’t like them; it is because we defend the undocumented and because we want the city of Austin to remain a sanctuary city. As we mentioned in another article, on November 4 of this year, we and our comrades were elsewhere from the action because those most at risk in our communities requested we defend their public spaces. In fact the majority of our work is like this—we work patiently, building relationships in our community and among our class. This also means that when the enemy poses a threat, we hit back. Perhaps MP feels it has to make an mutually exclusive decision between patient struggles among the masses or confronting the enemy; we however can and do undertake both at the same time, because the two overlap and interrelate with one another. Only a dysfunctional or underdeveloped organization is incapable of doing two things at once.

For our part, when we are not initiating food, housing, and other service programs through our mass work, we are organizing those we serve, as well as those we serve with, to push dangerous fascists out of our city. MP misses the point in all of this. They attack us for suggesting that antifascism is first and foremost internationalism, but the truth of this statement is particularly clear when a simple look around reveals that every contemporary brand of fascism in the US embraces aggressive nationalism. While obviously not everything in history that has ever called itself antifascism has  understood the necessity of internationalism being a core value, the fact that MP suggests that genuine antifascism is not also anti-imperialist, pro-people, and internationalist shows a remarkably dull perception of what we are actually about when we oppose fascism. Imperialism, hyper-nationalism, and white supremacy all go into the mix of most US fascist organizations. We attack the problem at its root instead of just looking at the branches.

In all of these things there is the important aspect of political education, recruitment, and training new Maoists. Is it really acceptable for MP to simply state without evidence that we ignore the day-to-day struggles of the masses? Are we wrong to ask them to prove it? A united front exists in Austin in embryo among an array of organizations who follow the political leadership of the Maoists. This is a modest accomplishment and we do not consider it enough. What unifies these groups around Maoist leadership is the mass line and its application in the day-to-day struggles of the masses. We will continue to build our party in all struggles we are engaged in, be they antifascist struggles or anything else.

On the conception of the masses

3A word search of our position paper turns up 29 uses of the word “without” and not a single use of the term “those without,” yet in spite of all their citations, MP manages to pretend that we conceive of the masses exclusively as “those without” (their quote, not ours). What MP is actually challenging here is the basic communist principle that the world is constantly divided into two antagonistic camps—the bourgeoisie and the proletariat, as explained in the most basic text of our ideology, the Communist Manifesto. They are not wrong in mentioning allied classes of the proletariat, who are important to a Maoist class analysis. This is why, in Condemned to Win, we explained that mass struggles see the have-nots as well as those who support them on one side and the haves as well as those who support them on the other. This is a very basic position about class interests and who can come to be allied with the proletariat to begin with. While they mention a future of support for and from the oppressed-nations petite bourgeoisie, Maoists in Austin have established links with these class allies locally though mass work and they have come to support us in the here and now—not out of some moral guilt but out of their own class interests, which align in some respects with those of the proletariat, whom we always seek to represent first.

On the primacy of armed struggle

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Without any obfuscation, we must be direct: the primary contradiction for the proletariat in an imperialist country is not the contradictions among the people, but the contradiction with the bourgeoisie. This is an antagonistic contradiction, and the primary way of solving it can only be through revolutionary violence. The section of our paper which they attack is in defense of this very basic Maoist position: political power grows from the barrel of a gun. At the very center of Maoism is the question of taking political power. The PCP stated it clearly: “What is fundamental in Maoism? Political Power is fundamental in Maoism. Political power for the proletariat, power for the dictatorship of the proletariat, power based on an armed force led by the Communist Party.”

MP distracts by attempting to make the central task not taking power through means of war but instead “resolving contradictions among the people,” an important task no doubt but not what must be held at the center of the political line. MP arrive at this position out of typical legal-left squeamishness when it comes to revolutionary violence. This is really nothing new.

They write that making revolution “necessarily involves holding meetings, facilitating mass debates, and producing and distributing media.” These are in fact all things we do on a day-to-day basis. Our writings as anyone can see are not only available online but are also in print—this is because they are distributed among the people locally in our communities. This fact does not negate that revolutionary violence is the highest form of expressing class struggle. While Mao states clearly that all of Marxism boils down to one slogan, “it is right to rebel,” MP would no doubt respond by shouting to the ceiling, “Not all of the time!”

In spite of their own rejection of the universality of protracted people’s war, they suggest that we are focoists, simply because we aim to learn to fight by fighting, another basic Maoist principle. We do not aim to build the party as an afterthought to small guerrilla battles, but we do intend to train our people in street combat and low-level insurgency, since the party we aim to create must itself be a fighting party. We stand for the construction of a militarized party of professional revolutionaries, who must necessarily be battle-tested. We stand for the army of a new type, which is engaged in serving the people. We stand for the establishment of base areas won through struggle and war. In all of this the party leads. Through their rejection of protracted people’s war and their condemnation of the Communist Party of Peru, they see anything which aims to learn to fight by fighting as “foco.” All they achieve in airing their analysis here is displaying a total ignorance of military theory, of the difference between tactics and strategy, between self-defense and movement defense on the one hand and focoism on the other.

In an even more astounding display of ineptitude, MP attacks our use of the term “strategic offensive of the world revolution.” They quote Chairman Gonzalo, who was paraphrasing Mao, while just assuming the greatest living Maoist philosopher was wrong but not having the ability to engage with his position philosophically.

The strategic offensive of world revolution speaks to the conditions present, which Mao was referring to when he stated, “The next 50 to 100 years or so, beginning from now, will be a great era of radical change in the social system throughout the world, an earth-shaking era without equal in any previous historical period. Living in such an era, we must be prepared to engage in great struggles which will have many features different in form from those of the past.” Mao was not saying this for no reason—he was not grandstanding. He was basing this statement on the development and crisis of imperialism and the science developed by proletarian revolution. Imperialism cannot go on objectively or infinitely, and this objective fact is not dependent on the current state of any individual people’s war. MP is showing its subjectivism by claiming that it does.

When Chairman Gonzalo of the Communist Party of Peru was paraphrasing Mao in 1980, he was declaring that the world revolution is in strategic offensive not based on his own party’s success in war either, since this remark was made before the initiation of the war. Furthermore, the conditions of the other existing people’s wars were at an all-time low. The conditions that existed then also exist now: there were no actually existing socialist states and the people’s wars were all in the low stages of strategic defensive. This is not “macho sophistry”; it’s just history, and an attempt to correct a theoretical misreading on the part of MP. We simply reiterate Mao and state that we live in an earth-shaking era. The view that the world revolution proceeds only quantitatively, through the gradual accumulation of socialist states, is a classic revisionist outlook. Objectively, even if every people’s war were defeated tomorrow MLM would still be the third and highest stage of Marxism and the world revolution would still be in the stage of strategic offensive, as objective developments are not contingent exclusively on subjective factors.

We stand by our assertion that we (the proletariat) are at war, simply in the fact that a war has been waged on us since our emergence as a class. Our aim is turn a thing into its opposite, to turn the tables of class struggle so that it is our class which suppresses the bourgeoisie. As far as our line that the proletariat is not a stranger to violence, we insist that the reality of our class is violent. This material conditions of our torment and exploitation have provided our class with creative potential for revolutionary violence. Class struggle is violent, and the proletariat is the final class in human history—which needs violence to carry out its purpose of ending all classes. It is MP that reflexively conceives of violence as a purely negative phenomenon and not a potentially positive one.

MP again presents a poor reading of our text when they claim that we argue that a violent approach is necessary for resolving contradictions among the people:

“RGA justifies this approach to resolving contradictions among the people by claiming that ‘most appealing to the working class is physical violence. In popular neighborhoods, most serious disputes are solved by violent means.’ This claim is absurd to anyone who has spent significant time among the working class. The vast majority of disputes among working people are resolved by non-antagonistic and non-violent means.”

In order to make their job at reading a bit easier, let us add emphasis on the section they quote: “Most appealing to the working class is physical violence. In popular neighborhoods, most serious disputes are solved by violent means.”

This is not an inconsequential use of the words “most serious.” The choice of the word “serious” means we are discussing the severest of offenses resulting in disputes. Somehow MP reads this as being a claim about the “vast majority” of disputes. Obviously we agree that the vast majority of disputes are solved nonviolently. While the masses themselves have many non-antagonistic contradictions among them, in plenty of cases a contradiction can become antagonistic, as in the case of serial rapists and others who commit predatory anti-people crimes. The masses and particularly the working-class masses of a given area can and do enact their own forms of justice.

MP even lapses into the same funny tropes as InfoWars by stating, “In contrast, RGA prefers to live-action-role-play and posture online.” “Role-play” implies a lack of consequence as well as a lack of force. Perhaps if they are so influenced by the enemy press as to rehash its positions, they would be interested in reading the police reports that claim RGA or our supporters regularly put up stiff resistance, with numbers in the streets. A recent police report read, “The Red Guard Austin group continuously escalated their violent actions causing the State Trooper bike unit to form a ‘buble’ [sic] around the Highway men to prevent imminent assault. … The Red Guard Austin became extremely violent striking the bicycle Unit Troopers and shoving them.”

Live-action role-playing as we understand it means to pretend to do something, not to actually do it. We are not engaged in organizing pretend struggles with no effect. We are committed to winning. Any communist worth his or her salt would be glad that anti-immigrant bigots were outnumbered and defeated by communists, and we simply cannot fathom why anyone claiming to be a Maoist of all things would simply choose to rehash an InfoWars narrative.

They simply cannot imagine a physical fight, let alone one they could win, and only manage to reveal their cynicism and lack of vision. They see anything so alien to them as “live-action-role-playing.” We assure them that we use real sticks, real guns, real bullets, and real fascists in our “role-playing.” We are actual antifascists in real life, and we are seeing success in this.

MP takes another sad group at its word without ever even trying to investigate the situation on the ground by unpacking a choice quote from the publicly inactive group which was called Portland Maoist Group, who criticized us some time back. We chose not to publicly address them or recognize them for private reasons, but since it’s being brought up, a few things deserve clarification.

For starters we were never deceptive about our interests and objective in running a cadre school: we were clear with all those who could potentially attend that we expect to follow up with them and have them continue making reportbacks on their progress, in part so we could gauge our own success or failures in training them to be leaders but also because we are communists and wish to train good leaders who can improve new or stagnating collectives. As communists we are not ashamed to seek influence over other groups. We do not believe in horizontal organizing and seek to let different schools of thought contend. We do this without shame. If a group is on a bad track, we hope to influence them to improve. We want to build the party and let leadership emerge in struggle.

MP quotes the following from the defunct Portland group:

“When they felt the need to finalize the severing of their relationship with the rest of the group [RGA] advised this comrade to leave the group, gather new Maoists and form their own collective, with the intent that the new collective would be more loyal to them and the assumption that the existing group would collapse. This can be understood as wreckerism. Trying to get multiple people at different times to leave the group, for unprincipled reasons, one time with the hope of it collapsing, is uncomradely meddling.”

The person in question who had attended our cadre school had expressed numerous times her struggle with drug addiction, which we had worked with her on during her brief stay in Austin, during which, without discussing the details, we can state that there were some important breakthroughs. Upon her return to Portland in one of our follow-up conversations (conversations she consented to and requested), she expressed to us that the group in Portland lacked any consideration for her in this regard  and told us that not only would they offer her drugs but also that, according to her report, they would use drugs at meetings in her presence.

She expressed that this made her struggles with sobriety very difficult and expressed concern that she would not be able to stay off of drugs in that environment. We stand by the advice we provided her: that if the environment created by this group in Portland was detrimental to her physical and mental health to the point of promoting a relapse, and if those she was attempting to work with proved unable or unwilling to change, then she should find others to work with who would respect her commitment to staying clean. Comrades should care for and support each another; they should not encourage addicts to relapse. This is such a shameful and horrible way to treat comrades and is absolutely not communist conduct.

Our advice was simple enough: if those you are working with do not support positive transformation, then that’s okay—do not give up on organizing, just find better comrades. However, eventually the temptation to use substances won out, and her addiction became active. We offered the comrade treatment, housing, and to find her a job. We set a healthy boundary that we would do anything in our power to help her reassert control over her addiction but would not be able to support her using. We could only do so much remotely, and once more the drug addiction won out, our offers to help were declined, and she decided then (as those gripped with addiction often tend to decide) that using is more important than politics. She was found to have been lying to both sides to win favor and hedge her bets. We informed her that our line was for her to get better and contact us when she wanted to do that.

What she failed to inform anyone in Portland and bears mention here is that all of our correspondence with them politically was on the basis of information she provided us. Our letter to them—which contained a direct criticism of patriarchal male chauvinism on the part of two “cadres” as well as a criticism of Third-Worldism on the part of one “cadre”—was read and approved by her before we sent it. She supported its content as a way to help improve the group she would be rejoining. The “collective” in Portland had not fully established itself or developed a political identity, so charges of “wreckerism” miss the mark. In spite of MP’s declaration that we do not believe in transformation or criticizing cadres, our whole approach here was based on those two considerations.

We have remained silent on this issue up until now because we do not want to encourage the spectacle of call-out culture and we do not enjoy having to report the details of someone’s personal struggle with addiction. Nonetheless, the double-talk and lies told by the Portland drug club have forced us to speak on the record. We will say that it was their own lack of discipline and commitment which “wrecked” their work and isolated them, and no action on our part externally could hope to accomplish this.

MP has shown repeatedly and at great length that they do not investigate. They take anything anti-RGA at face value. Their faulty analysis here also shows a failure in understanding dialectical materialism. By ignoring the internal contradictions in the Portland group, MP is able to deflect their issues which prevent them from ever accomplishing real and protracted mass work onto the specter of “RGA wreckerism.” We prefer a sober and sound analysis and to learn not only from our own mistakes in party-building but also from the many mistakes of other attempted collectives. MP pretends RGA just crushes small, vulnerable collectives. This is opportunist: they have not bothered to contact any of the Maoist collectives which are newer than our own, in Charlotte, Pittsburgh, Houston, Kansas City, or Tampa, whom we have not only not “wrecked” but instead have helped or supported, even when we have had sharp political struggles with them. What is more, these collectives have helped us greatly as well and have never had to fear giving us direct criticism. Portland never adhered to communist discipline or communist principles. Any unity with them would not have served the interests of the party-building effort in the US, a fact we learned the hard way. We are glad that they have no audience, platform, or potential. Good riddance.

Ignoring patriarchy?

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One thing which really sticks out in the MP attack is their use of the term “machismo,” which is employed systematically against militancy with no concrete examples given of actual macho behavior. What MP is getting at here is that any show of force, any act of physical fighting, any promotion of violence is inherently masculine and hence patriarchal. This is an old bourgeois feminist line which should be exposed as sexism. To keep combat and military strategy and tactics as the property of men and to alienate women from their right to self-defense and revolutionary violence is patriarchal. Women like men have the duty to participate in class struggle. The women in our organization and our movement are without a doubt some of our most committed fighters.

It would appear from MP’s thorough documentation of their citations and style of writing that they do actually have adequate reading comprehension skills, so we are left to think that they have deliberately misread our positions and our documents in an attempt to convince our detractors to support them. They have undertaken so many bad-faith readings and outright misquotations that it is tedious to keep repeating, but this proved a major part of their method in arriving at the analysis in their polemic.

MP’s arguments are only coherent if they think that by the term “call-out culture” we mean criticism in general, criticism in any form. But we explained plainly the differences between the two in our document “On Identity Opportunism,” and we will not be repeating them here. We hold that all organizations (if they are living) experience two-line struggle. This is a Maoist viewpoint which is challenged by MP.

According to MP, “RGA claims that a supposed Marxist expertise is needed to offer communist criticism and to ‘overcome subjectivism.’ This negates the reality that the masses do often possess correct ideas and can and should voice these ideas, including criticisms of revolutionary collectives and of individuals.” Well if it is communist criticism, then yes, to be a communist you need a basic grasp of Marxism. We do not expect the masses who are not yet communists to be able to make communist criticisms any more that we expect them to be able to make a communist analysis. The organic mass communist consciousness presupposed by MP’s argument does not exist, and if it did then revolution would happen tomorrow with no need for a party or professional revolutionaries.

One doesn’t need to be an expert to place a criticism, but for a criticism to be based in Marxism and not metaphysics one should at least comprehend basic Marxist principles. Mao stressed time and time again the need to oppose subjectivist mindsets in our work. This does not mean that subjectivist criticism cannot contain anything useful; it simply means that so-called communists who cannot make an overall assessment are limited in their ability to criticize and are often prone to insufficiently investigating and not moving past the perceptual level of knowledge.

While non-communists can place valid criticisms, Marxists are likewise capable of placing invalid criticisms. Often the masses do have correct criticism. This does not change the fact that we are under no compulsion to unite with what is false. Analyzing a criticism and dissecting it is the communist method of engagement with criticism. It is correct to point out subjectivism and encourage dialectical materialist analysis when making or receiving criticism. We will not self-criticize for approaching criticism as Marxists must, and we will not self-criticize for refusing to unite with lies or criticism that is just incorrect. We maintain that we look for correct aspects even in bad-faith criticism, extract them, and apply them.

Mao states, “Subjectivism is an improper style of study; it is opposed to Marxism-Leninism and is incompatible with the Communist Party. What we want is the Marxist-Leninist style of study.” MP is asserting above that by calling for a Maoist style of studying contradictions and the need for this style to influence the way in which comrades place criticism, that we are rejecting criticism outright. We are not demanding that critics be experts or even that they be red; we are simply encouraging other communists, or those who profess to be communists, to aspire to be both expert and red, to be communists when placing criticism and analyzing errors.

Mao also said that “certain muddled ideas find currency among many people.” This is without a doubt true, and it is the communist’s duty to seek to clarify these muddled ideas which are in contradiction with Maoist ideas. We only seek to correct mistaken ideas, whether they come from “communists,” comrades, or the masses.

MP refers to “needed call-outs.” This is amusing, because it is organizing activists and supporters to take material actions which can lead to abusive people being held accountable; it is not simply “calling it out” that can get this job done. We are not against speaking of injustice; we are mainly for speaking responsibly, from a position of having investigated the matter. And most importantly, we are for action in dealing with those found guilty of abuse. This is something we have consistently done; it is reflected in our struggles against the LC and in the local mass work in Austin.

They quote us again divorced of context: “Society is transformed by violent revolution against the economic base and is continuously transformed afterward by continued revolution in the superstructure in the form of cultural revolution.” They take this somehow to mean that we do not think individuals can change without attacking the economic base! We defend this position, as society is different from individuals.

We hold that many individuals with patriarchal thinking can be transformed as individuals, which is precisely why reckless call-out culture comes into contradiction with mass work, as it aims to shame people into compliance rather than change their thinking by uniting them according to their common interests with the masses. For massive, wide-scale social change, revolution is the way; for correcting mistaken ideas and changing individuals, we encourage transformation, criticism, accountability, and so on. For all their talk about resolving contradictions among the people, they intentionally distract from this principle by defending call-out culture by conflating it with criticism. When a criticism or even a call-out is made, communists have a responsibility to determine what is true and what is false within it.

We stand unequivocally for the struggle against bad ideas among cadres and the masses. If we did not, we would allow the bad ideas coming out of Boston to go totally unchecked. We respond to them now as we did in our document “Correcting Mistaken Ideas in Boston” in the interest of changing views or at the very least preventing others from uniting with MP or their bad ideas.

MP writes, “The implications of RGA’s approach are deeply concerning. It effectively serves as a justification for protecting anti-people practices among its cadres because there are oppressive tendencies among the masses.”

If MP has evidence of anti-people practices among our cadres, they have a responsibility to state what these are. Instead they prefer insinuation that such practices materially exist without any evidence or investigation. They also incorrectly suggest that RGA does not impose a different standard of conduct for communists than it does for the masses, which negates the use of the term “cadres.” Members of communist organizations are explicitly held to a different standard: the standard of professional revolutionaries who place the masses and the political organization first, before their personal interests. This is detailed at length in Condemned to Win, but they are content with cherry-picking sections and not engaging with it honestly.

Any anti-people practices, some of which will inevitably occur in our organization, are challenged collectively in organized line struggle or organized struggle sessions. We focus on advancing the masses in class struggle and winning over the most advanced to MLM. Once they have come to accept the ideology, it is through continued struggle that any backward practices or views are brought to light, challenged, and corrected. Contrary to the ill-informed notions of MP, we consider the basis for unity being MLM and not “violence.” By depoliticizing violence in the liberal sense MP, creates a mirage that, in Quixotic delusion, only they can see.

MLM is not reduced to “violence,” but it is concerned mainly with the conquest of power, which specifically relies on the universal principle of revolutionary violence. Pacifism ideologically levels out all contradictions to a vague “violence,” which lacks an understanding of class character. In spite of their insistence to the contrary MP, uses pacifism in place of Marxism when leveling these charges against us. In other documents, we have even addressed the need to reclaim violence and not to recruit on the basis of violence alone.

MP clearly hopes that people have a short memory when they say,

“RGA’s conclusions shows they have not substantially broken from the negative tendencies of the New Communist Party-Liaison Committee (NCP-LC), which collapsed under a heap of bad theory and practice. The ‘leadership’ of this organization defended patriarchal abusers and rejected democratic criticism—both from their cadre and from outside the organization—that could have prevented this and other egregious errors. The group’s leadership justified this practice because of their belief, analogous to that of RGA, that such mistakes were ‘proletarian’ or ‘where the masses were at’ and hence tolerable.”

  1. The NCP-LC did not simply “collapse under a heap of bad theory and practice,” isolated from the activity and participation of communists and masses. In reality, we ourselves struggled with this bad organization for over a year, placing criticism and suggesting corrections to no avail. Ultimately we issued a polemic which set in motion a series of complicated rebellions against them.
  2. Our position was always that they were rightist-revisionists who were tailing backward elements among the people and engaging in economism.
  3. Again we should stress that here, as we always have, we pressed the contentious principle that communists must be held to a much higher standard than should be used for the average worker—that backwardness among the people is no excuse for communists to forget principles.
  4. Others had identified these errors with the LC but failed to carry out struggle to actually rid the movement of their influence. Our line was that the project was lost and should not remain operational, and that those with errors albeit less severe still needed to rectify. What followed was branch after branch of the LC outside of NYC defecting to our side, and a prolonged and successful gender rectification campaign in LA. Had we used “meeting the masses where they are at” as an excuse to pardon patriarchy, none of this rectification would have happened. These charges are so false that it is insulting to everyone’s intelligence that MP thinks they are slick enough to pass this off. If their line is correct, it should not rely on ahistorical distortions and the hope that people in our movement just have incredibly short memories.

We are self-critical on much of the way we handled the crisis of patriarchy in the movement then. We did not know well what we were doing and have learned a great deal in the process. These contradictions are never easy to resolve for anyone involved, but they are serious contradictions which require long-term commitment. We do not regret the overall result of our struggles and have seen a dramatic increase in women’s involvement in the Maoist movement since then.

By MP’s own confused standard, subjectivist and sectarian criticism are also “bad ideas,” yet we are wrong for criticizing these bad ideas? Even criticism should not be beyond criticism. MP stumbled into this paradoxical impasse—it is not a thing of our making. We see it simply: right or wrong, air your views; if you are right, we will unite with them, and if you are wrong, we will criticize your views; and if you are both right and wrong, we will struggle with your views in order to come up with the most correct line.

The Kurdish question

In regard to the role of Daesh, we encourage readers to study the document “On Jihadism” by our comrades in the PCM. While MP tries to argue for nuance in understanding the dual nature of Daesh, something we agree is necessary, this logic does not end up getting applied by them in any attempt to understand the YPG/J, who are also plagued by a dual nature. The situation has far more gray areas than appear in the black-and-white outlook promoted by MP. They are the best existing representatives of the oppressed Kurdish nation in the region, locked in struggle not only against Daesh but also against US imperialist ally Turkey. On one hand, the YPG/J has accepted US imperialist aid, something many legitimate revolutions have done when facing a massive threat posed by groups like Daesh. On the other hand, their relationship to the PKK and against the Turkish state puts them in contradiction with US imperialism. The PKK cannot play nice with the Turkish state, as Turkey occupies 40% of Kurdish land. This contradiction means that whatever support they receive via the YPG/J is temporary and shaky at very best. The PKK-aligned Kurds simply cannot become compradors in the region long-term unless they concede their claim on Turkish-occupied Kurdistan.

MP falsely states that we show “unabashed” and “uncritical” support for YPG/J. Of course they do not bother to engage with anything but a solidarity video made for US martyrs of the YPG. It is correct that we did not criticize YPG during a memorial for martyrs. To suggest that such a place is appropriate to criticize is farcically unprincipled; we honored their courage and their sacrifice. This does not mean that think there are no contradictions within the Kurdish struggle, nor does it mean that we find nothing to criticize.

We do not deny the class character of the YPG/J any more than we deny the revisionism of PKK. We support them critically as progressive bourgeois nationalists and as idealists who lack the ideology of the proletariat, MLM.

What’s worse is, it’s not only our articles that MP likes to cherry-pick—they’ve also done the same thing to TKP/ML. That party has been undergoing complicated and drawn-out line struggle for over a year on these questions, and much of this struggle has not been translated into English. Yet by cudgeling their brains on their own, MP has determined correctness and chosen a side without even mentioning this monumental struggle taking place within TKP/ML. They do not do this out of reverence or respect for the foremost MLM organization in Turkey; instead they opportunistically attempt to use them as a stick to attack RGA. We have no comment on this line struggle and eagerly await more information in order to make an informed position. We do not take the quotes from them out of context to fake legitimacy for narrow views, as MP has opportunistically done.

Not unlike TKP/ML, we too limit our support for YPG/J to its democratic content. We too do not agree with the ideas of “democratic confederalism.” We believe in oppressed nations’ right to self-determination, the dictatorship of the proletariat, and the leadership of the party. On the contrary, MP’s cheap view is to ignore the democratic content of the YPG/J and instead (!) to play up the “anti-imperialist” content of Daesh! This puts them sadly close to the hard-Trot defense of Daesh by groups like the Sparticists. US imperialism, like its ally Turkey, is more likely to find common ground with Daesh long term as it has done in the region by waging war against a group to turn around and support it later, or inversely by supporting a group to make war on it later. US imperialism is no one’s friend, and it changes up regularly whom it works with and whom it fights; it can and does at times even support both sides. There is no sense in ignoring the evidence that US imperialism has provided aid to Daesh while claiming to fight it or actually fighting it.

Regarding not being concerned with the school of thought of the martyrs, we mean that on that day, the principal thing was to honor their sacrifice. In no way do we ever promote concessions on questions of ideology. People with many different ideologies make sacrifices. If MP were to have martyrs in the struggle against reaction, then we would honor them too. This prospect seems unrealistic only because in essence they promote legalism and a fool’s hesitation to militantly oppose the spread of fascism. We are firmly Maoist and have made plenty of enemies by unapologetically attacking revisionists. This does not mean we embrace unprincipled sectarianism.

MP incorrectly states, “RGA could not be bothered to condemn U.S. intervention in the region at all.” This is false, because although we did not center the memorial for the martyrs around criticizing the complex situation in the region, we have organized against US imperialist intervention in Syria; this was one of the rallying calls for this past May Day in Austin, and it would have remained one of its main focuses had the march not had to take a defensive position against immediate fascist attack. Nonetheless, our chants and propaganda still opposed US imperialist intervention in Syria. Their criticism is not formulated from anything other than casually observing the criticisms of opportunists who deliberately promote distortions. Our supporters and cadres have consistently attended events and actions against US imperialism, in the Philippines, Turkey, Palestine, and Syria alike.

We take no issue at all with the content of the Ganapathy quote which MP uses to imply that we oppose Muslims generally. This false conflation of Daesh with Muslims is akin to the right suggesting that all Muslims are like Daesh. MP’s suggestion that our opposing Daesh means we oppose Muslims generally is disgusting and should be swept away. Meanwhile, where they insist that we are “tailing antifa,” we are actually building links with our local Muslim community, and our supporters are volunteering to physically defend Mosques and cultural centers from reactionary attacks. We have organized or helped organize large-scale actions against Islamophobia locally. We helped to gather over 300 people to shut down the “March against Sharia Law” in Austin on June 10 of this year. Reports of these actions are found on our blog, but these are of no interest to MP, which seeks to make cheap attacks by looking at isolated aspects of things.

Class stand and urgency

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A concrete analysis of climate change, which has already begun to show devastating effects globally, does in fact merit a sense of urgency. Although it is far from correct to say that no other communists recognize this, nonetheless, in past socialist projects the difficult-to-understate gravity of climate change was not yet fully grasped. Of course there are great examples of environmentalism under the leadership of Mao, and we do not wish to diminish these by stressing the importance for Maoists today to grapple with climate change. Again, we encourage our readers to study the articles of our comrades the PCM on the question of climate change.

Grasping revolutionary necessity and urgency does not in and of itself negate “the need to work methodically to resolve contradictions among the people.” Nowhere do we suggest that it does. On the contrary, MP is arguing against urgency and militancy under the guise of prioritizing resolving contradictions among the people.

It is mainly repression and consent which the bourgeoisie rule through; it is not mainly the contradictions among the people which prevent them for making revolution, but the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie which we live under in a capitalist country. By overemphasizing the contradictions among the people, MP seeks to distract from the contradictions between the people and the enemy. They would rather ignore the very nature of the bourgeois state than ever confront it. Instead, they want to behave as NGOs do: as a mitigation unit which focuses attention away from the class struggle between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. Yes, there are contradictions among the people, but they are secondary contradictions, not the principal contradiction, which in imperialist countries can only be between the proletariat and the bourgeoisie. This principal contradiction explains climate change too—it is not the proletariat which destroys the planet but capitalism-imperialism itself, which the bourgeoisie are the only class with an interest in maintaining.

MP promotes faulty notions of developing “proletarian power within individuals.” Proletarian power, for Maoists, means the establishment of base areas and the dictatorship of the proletariat—it is developed and conquered through war, not in individuals by resolving contradictions among the people. This diffused concept of power is a hallmark of postmodernism and does not at all capture the Maoist understanding and use of the word “power.” In the very document in which MLM was synthesized for the first time, the PCP explains power:

1) Political power under the leadership of the proletariat in the democratic revolution;

2) Political power for the dictatorship of the proletariat in the socialist and cultural revolutions;

3) Political power based on an armed force led by the communist party, conquered and defended through people’s war.

We do not deny that through the resolving of contradictions among the people (which can only occur meaningfully in class struggle) individuals within the masses and collectives can gain a sense of agency and empowerment—but this is not to be conflated with proletarian power, and claiming that it does is a gimmick used by MP to pass off their revisionism as love for the people. What they really mean concretely is that it is premature to fight the class enemy in any way at all, and they think we should instead focus on the secondary contradictions among the people. All revisionists serve the capitalist class; MP does so in a funny way by trying to divert the revolutionary activity of communists and the masses to focus principally on interpersonal and secondary contradictions.

Concerning leadership

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Communist leadership is developed inevitably and in class struggle. It is because of class struggle that many comrades have looked to Austin for leadership, regardless of the fact that we never sought to become any sort of movement leaders. We do not impose organizational leadership on any outside of Austin. Nonetheless, many comrades, organized into collectives or not, have looked to us for political leadership, guidance, or both. We seek to live up the task at hand not out of some demented personal interest but in the interest of serving revolution.

Revisionists and conservative forces are panicked by the very thought of leadership emerging in class struggle. They are tormented by the ghost of leadership. They in their anti-communist hysteria are gripped with the impulse to attack and lash out at what they correctly or incorrectly identify as emerging leaders. The revisionist always acts in service of its bourgeois master by trying to rob a movement of its leaders, trying to prevent leaders from emerging, and trying to discredit all revolutionary leadership. They demand absolute egalitarianism among collectives and refuse any attempts at principled unity for the sake of arriving at false unity. They seek to separate the militant from the masses.

This is the form and essence of the MP polemic against us. Lenin explains leadership concisely as something that is earned through experience and theoretical mastery; Mao explained leadership as uniting the masses around cadres. MP’s attempt to label us everything from focoists to fascists and US imperialists (all charges they have adopted from unorganized online trolls or outright fascists) does not engage at all with reality and almost no one is fooled by this ruse.

In essence, the goal of MP is not to develop proletarian politics by resolving contradictions among the people—it is to negate the role of theory in doing this, to claim that proletarian politics do not exist and that the content of MLM itself is yet to be determined. Their whole attack against us is an attack against both militancy and leadership.

This all boils down to the business-as-usual model of right-opportunism, of avoiding sharp struggles and confrontations. Their position as well as their practice cannot be discerned from that of reformists. They call us focoists due to their total lack of military theory, understanding neither our politics nor focoism and conflating tactics with strategy. They do not understand that focoism is a failed military strategy that aims to negate the role of the party among the masses. Focoism is not comparable to implementing proletarian politics and using physical confrontations and self-defense tactically—something no Maoist should oppose. Their line in practice is nothing but the conventional NGO and revisionist line which is explained well in the PCR-RCP document on the tactic of what they call red fists:

“The greatest danger that stems from these passive and predictable demos is that revolutionaries become complacent and reproduce within their own organizational structures those of these types of protests. Instead of putting to use the knowledge already gained by the revolutionary movement, they give into the disorganization proposed by the reformists. This will have as a result that any denunciation will become senseless, because the form of protest will be unworthy of properly conveying the message. … It must be said that faked-communists (revisionists) have completely estranged themselves from these firm and solid advancements. They have adopted in fact the discipline and the legal practices imposed by the bourgeoisie. This results in demos where the demonstrators are passively kept in toe with the reformist leaders.”

To refuse to be at the very forefront of mass struggle is to refuse being a communist. We have consistently and militantly held our posts in Austin in spite of hardship. While we do spend the majority of our time focusing on the political preparation of the people, prior to the initiation of armed struggle, we do not see this condition as an excuse to not resist. We again reassert our position that communist militants must be developed in class struggle, that self-defense and antifascism are correct and must be conducted under communist leadership. Every struggle that is in the interest of the proletariat is one where you should find communists organizing and recruiting.

We have no doubt that the MP polemic will find a sympathetic ear among those who already hate us or consider us political enemies, among the Menshevik Center and other revisionist groups. This does not concern us. If they liked us and their politics remained as they are now, this would be unacceptable to us. It should also be stated clearly that their polemic is nothing more than a poorly investigated and incorrect attempt at gaining relevancy in the US Maoist movement, a movement which enjoys greater unity than it has in years—and it is no coincidence that fake-communists, bloggers, and meme-creators are not part of that unity, including but not limited to MP.

We are communists, and this means that we are not simply a mitigation unit to solve problems among the people but revolutionaries organizing for political power. We exist to defeat the class enemy. Maoists have encountered these MP types before who balk at the first sign of danger and waste no time at all trying to discredit the militant, people who will lie to cover up their cowardice.

“Since May ’68 there are people who go all over the place saying; nothing can be done without a party. The conclusions they draw from this are: let’s do nothing. Let’s build a party, and afterwards we’ll see what happens. . . . Some wanted to capitulate. They said: ‘We can’t do anything more now. If we continue to fight we’re going to be massacred. Let’s stop now and build a party. Once we’re organized we’ll pick up the struggle.’”—Gauche Prolétarienne

“Organize the masses so that they can go beyond what is permitted by the existing legal order, so that they struggle to destroy the old order and not to maintain it. This is accomplished by use of the three instruments of the revolution: The Party where the few converge, the Army with more participants, and new state/united front which is the base which progressively accumulates the masses through leaps.”—Communist Party of Peru

“The struggle for power as the principal aspect does not mean that from the beginning we are going to incorporate the masses all at once. Chairman Mao teaches us that developing Support Bases and armed forces is what generates the high tide of the revolution. This has to do with the law of incorporation of the masses into the revolution, . . . an incorporation that shall be through progressive leaps; with more people’s war shall come a greater incorporation of the masses.” —Communist Party of Peru

“The masses are avid for politics and it is incumbent upon Communists to organize and lead them. The masses have concrete problems everywhere and we must worry about them and attend to them. Mass work is done within the class struggle and not on its margins. If we do not do mass work, the reactionaries and revisionists shall utilize it for their own ends, whether it is to develop fascism and to corporativize them or hand over their struggles to another imperialist master. These are two wills that are distinct and opposed.” —Communist Party of Peru

Our will and those of ineffective grouplettes like MP are indeed distinct and opposed.

—Red Guards Austin, December 2017

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Solidarity with Charlotte Antifascists

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On December 28th our comrades in Charlotte North Carolina will be prepared and ready to defend their city from white nationalists and other fascists who have threatened to march there. Some months back an Anti-Communist group declared that they would hold a rally on December 28th. The “rally against communism” which they also call “Charlottesville #2” was supposed to take place at Marshall Park and was supposed to feature Richard Spencer, who allegedly got cold feet since he cannot seem to go anywhere without being rightfully punched in the face, tormented and silenced. The communist, progressive and anti-racist forces in Charlotte called for a counter rally to shut down the right. There has been some slippery back and forth from the fascist’s side as to whether or not they will actually show up. This does not matter. What matters is that the Communists, progressives and anti-racists do show up.

The Alt-right is notoriously dishonest, as with all fascists they base their propaganda on lies and eclecticism; they have no consolidated ideology and change up with the weather. No one should take them at their word; it is safe to assume that they are only pretending to cancel so that their pathetic numbers have a better chance of terrorizing the city unopposed. And if they do not show up it is not due to their better judgment but due to their cowardice in the face of antifascist victories all over the country in response to the murder they committed in Charlottesville Virginia. The people and the revolutionaries have made it clear—alt-right not welcome!

We have learned this much, when fascists are scared to show up, or forced to back down this gives antifascists another cause for celebration. If the fascists have successfully been cowed without even showing face then our side is presented with the opportunity to rise to the occasion and spread our message of anti-racism, anti-sexism and anti-fascism. Our side can spread its message of comradery, equality, solidarity and love for our people—the message of communism!

In the long drawn out and bloody battles we know clearly what we are against, it is equally if not more important to know what we are for. Antifascism means serving the people, it is not enough to just show up and smash a racist’s head into the concrete or hit them with ax handles, this is great and noble work which must be done, but it is not enough. We must consistently turn out for the masses of people. We must fight against slum lords, predatory businesses, police and police abuse, hunger and poverty. We must battle day to day alongside the working class for a better lot in life—which can only be brought about with the promise of socialism. This is what it means to be an antifascist and anything less just characterizes a movement by what it’s against leaving it blinded to what it is for. We hate fascists because they spell out the very worst of capitalism.

Our comrades will turn out for the masses, they will bring their best and they will make the day worth celebrating, they will be able to send a deafening message to any fascist with his sights on Charlotte—do not go there, unless of course they just want the same hell, humiliation and defeat they face in Austin.  We have the utmost respect for the Maoists and other antifascists of that city and full faith that they will hold it down. The south gets more red every year and racists are not welcome to parade in southern streets, as long as there are communists, we will fight to the last one of us.

Since the very first moment fascists emerged in history they have been fought tooth and nail, blow for blow by communists, we are honored to continue this tradition and have no fear of sacrifice. We know that should we fall, three more will arise to pick up our clubs, our theories and our riffles. With this attitude we communists are invincible. The masses of Charlotte have showed the best of courage during the Charlotte Uprising, these masses with communist leadership will make that city the grave of the alt-right. We have no pity for our enemy we are just glad we do not march to that grave in their boots.

Turn out for the masses! Thursday, December 28th. 4:00 pm, Marshall Park (near the statue) 800 E. 3rd St, Charlotte NC

Long live Antifascism

Long live the masses and Communists of Charlotte!

-RGA

Free Musa Aşoğlu!

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On December 20, in Austin, Texas, a lightning rally was held outside of the federal court building in solidarity with Musa Aşoğlu, who began trial that same day. Below are a video of the statement and action.

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On December 14th a meeting was held to discuss support for Musa and to teach those in attendance more about Musa as well as Halk Cephesi. The chosen venue which we have redacted for security was filled to capacity. Below is a copy of a talk given at the event.

Musa Aşoğlu is a Turkish revolutionary who was arrested in Hamburg, Germany, on December 2, 2016. He has been accused by the fascist Turkish intelligence service of being a central committee member of DHKP-C (Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front).
Because DHKP-C has targeted US imperialists and their interests in Turkey by attacking military and diplomatic personnel, striking a blow against US imperialism, the reactionary US government seeks to extradite him and has placed a $3 million bounty on his head.
Musa is a Dutch citizen, but the US will do everything in its power to extradite and eliminate him. We must therefore organize the fight to prevent this and take actions in solidarity with all those fighting on his behalf in Germany, with the comrades locked in armed struggle in a life-or-death battle with the Turkish state, and with all those who fight US imperialism.
The Belgian government has already charged and acquitted Comrade Aşoğlu once before for alleged membership in the banned DHKP-C, but the Turkish state has long arms and deep pockets. If Musa is extradited, his chances of exoneration and freedom are greatly reduced.
The long reach of the Turkish state can be seen in the recent arrests of nine Turkish revolutionaries in Greece on the morning of November 28 of this year. These nine revolutionaries are also being charged with membership in DHKP-C. They are being held and tortured based on a lie that they were plotting the assassination of Turkish fascist president Erdoğan. Syriza, the allegedly leftist government of Greece, has shown its true colors as the bourgeoisie in the service of Turkish AKP fascism. Social-democrats once again truly prove themselves the twin of fascism.
Revolutionary organizations the world over have begun solidarity actions in defense of Musa, who had been living underground prior to his arrest, which took place in a raid on a safe house. The only “evidence” of his alleged crimes was provided by the Turkish anti-terrorist file service, which is famous for its use of torture to acquire confessions and for falsifying data. These pigs are right now foaming at the mouth for the blood of our comrade.
Musa Aşoğlu is fifty-six years old and has spent most of his life as a revolutionary fighting against US imperialism, Turkish fascism, and the reactionary order of the bourgeoisie. He has, as an internationalist, championed progressive causes all over the world in solidarity with the world proletarian revolution.
As a Turkish comrade in Europe informed me, his father recently passed away. His father’s death happened while Musa was in prison on this recent charge. Musa is so beloved by the people and revolutionaries that his father’s funeral was visited by a bloom of red flags and a procession of masses, workers, and revolutionaries, who attended in Musa’s stead.
We in the US and especially in Austin know from experience that rising fascism leads to the state criminalizing all of the people’s revolutionary and antifascist organizations. We see evidence of this trend in reports from the Department of Homeland Security, as well as local and federal police reports that name Red Guards Austin. We have seen this in the tireless campaigns of reactionaries to have “Antifa” labeled a terrorist organization. We have seen the repressive apparatus of the state attempt hysterically to label people as members or leaders of such organizations. We should understand this as a series of moves building steadily and inevitably toward the banning of revolutionary communist organizations.
We have seen this same process take place in India, China, Turkey, and the Philippines. We should understand what fascism has in store for us—and the practical and necessary response to this understanding means carrying our water as antifascists, internationalists, and anti-imperialists.
Musa is one of us! His life is an example of what it means to be a revolutionary antifascist. We must oppose the US imperialist bribe of $3 million and show our comrades abroad that there are those in the belly of the beast who stand with Musa Aşoğlu.
We must unite behind the slogan “Making revolution is no crime!”
Freedom for Musa Aşoğlu!
Death to fascism and imperialism!

Below is a Turkish translation of the statement in the video

Musa için konuşma Musa Asoğlu son bir senedir Almanya’da tutuklu bulunan

Türkiyeli bir devrimci ve özgürlük savaşçısıdır.

Biz şu an burada sadece Musa’ya adalet için çağrıda bulunmuyoruz, biz bir savaş çığlığı ile buradayız—Musa’yı özgür istiyoruz! Özgürlüğün elde edildiği ana yol devrimin araçlarıdır.

Musa yoldasın davası bugün 20 Aralık’ta Almanya’da uydurulmuş suçlamalarla başlamaktadır. Onun tek suçu gerici faşist Türk devletine karşı halkına hizmet etmektir—açıkça söylüyoruz, devrim yapmak suç değildir!

Ama faşistler yoldaşımızı illegal devrimci örgüt DHKP-C’nin ”kriminal lideri” diye etiketledi. ABD emperyalist hükümeti Musa için 3 milyon dolarlık bir rüşvet teklif ederek onun ABD’ye iade edilmesini hedefliyor. Bu kan parasıdır, Türk devletinin isteğini yerine getirebilmek için.

Biz Musa yoldaş ile dayanışma içindeyiz ve Türkiye’deki devrimcilerin kahramanca mücadelelerinden ilham alıyoruz. Ve onlara söz veriyoruz, biz yorulmadan dünya halklarını avlayan ABD emperyalist yaratığının kalbini delecek bir tip Komünist partiyi kurmak için çalışacağız. Dünya’nın her yerinde halk ABD emperyalizmine karşı öfke ile dolu, bunlar bizim de halkımızdır!

Düşman bizi dünyanın her yerinde aynı şekilde yönetmeye çalışacak, coplarla, mermilerle ve hapislerle—özgürlük için hareket eden ve hayal kurmaya cesaret eden herkese karşı bir şiddetli düzeltmedir bu.

ABD’de gerçek demokrasi yoktur. Dünyayı yoksul tutan aynı ABD’dir. Yoksulluk biz işçilerin iyi bildiği bir şeydir, biliyoruz ki suistimal, kölelik ve adaletsizlikten başka bir şey değildir. Biz emperyalizmin suçları için Amerikan işçi sınıfını suçlamıyoruz.

Biz devleti ve onun temsilciliğini yaptığı egemen sınıfı suçluyoruz, biz arkamızda sahte adliyesiyle duran federal hükümeti suçluyoruz.

Biz çok iyi biliyoruz ki Amerikan Birleşik Devletlerinde adalet bulunamaz, özellikle de eylemlerinin ve zamanın marşından haklılığı tarafından korunulan devrimcilere karşı bulunamaz. Bu nedenler için Musa Asoğlu yoldaş ve onu savunanların yanında sıkıca ve kararlılıkla yanlarında duruyoruz. Biz dünyanın her yanındaki devrimcilerin yanında duruyoruz!

Yaşasın halkın Adaleti!

Biz Musa’yı serbest istiyoruz! Yaşasın DHKP-C!

No More Pigs, Or Opportunists, In Our Community – Stay Away DeRay


“No More Pigs in Our Community! (Off the Pigs!) No More Pigs in Our Community! (Off the Pigs!)”

A coalition of non-profit social justice and liberal political organizations gathered at the Austin City Hall on December 13th with the aim of convincing the city to put a hold on renewing the police contract. The contract has not been rejected, but the negotiations were delayed until March 2018, which was seen as a victory by the coalition.

The groups attribute part of their results to an assist from DeRay Mckesson, often referred to simply as DeRay, a Baltimore native and self-proclaimed national leader of the Black Lives Matter movement. He flew in to testify on behalf of Campaign Zero police reform initiative. In fact he came and claimed another platform somewhere he doesn’t belong. DeRay didn’t come to help our community, he came to reinforce the prominence of liberal, non-profit led organizing which has deflated the local and national struggles against police brutality, moving them out of the hands of the masses and into the hands of the capitalist ruling class.

So, who is DeRay? He is often portrayed as one of the organizers of the Ferguson and Baltimore uprising and one of the most influential leaders of the “new civil rights movement.” Nothing could be further from the truth. While nameless, mostly young community members were putting their lives on the line, fighting day after day, night after night, against the Ferguson Police Department to demand justice for Mike Brown Jr., DeRay drove his car from Minneapolis parachuting himself (as he did in Austin) into a context that was brand new to him and immediately sought the spotlight. Despite his inexperience as an organizer and his lack of connections with the larger St. Louis community, he seized the momentum of the uprising and started collecting followers on Twitter by live streaming the uprising “from an activist perspective.” Soon after, neoliberal education group Teach for America started curating DeRay’s image thanks to his loyalty and support for the program, making DeRay a celebrity activist.

Despite having a very slim record as an organizer on-the-ground, but thanks to his corporate backing, DeRay managed to collect quite a few personal awards and TV appearances. He launched his creature in 2015: Campaign Zero, a campaign aimed at reforming the police with the incentive of usage of body cameras (which allow cops to justify police department budget increases), and which consciously stayed away from unequivocally demanding convictions for killer cops. He also ran in the mayoral race in Baltimore in 2016, collecting an embarrassingly low percentage of votes.

His connection to Austin comes through the Austin Justice Coalition, which is the local backer of Campaign Zero. This is unsurprising. We have written before about the state of the Black Lives Matter movement in Austin, with one pole of leadership under AJC, and particularly Chas Moore. The organizers in these spaces are not above accepting $250 from former police chief Art Acevedo as well as portraying any organizers who criticize their practices as do-nothings and provocateurs.

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Celebrity activist DeRay (blue vest) meets with imperialist in chief Obama

When DeRay came to Austin, the coalition and media moved quickly to center him in their reports and propaganda. In his testimony, DeRay made the following statements, which were the most prominently featured quotes in news coverage and social media:

“Mckesson stressed that reformers aren’t anti-cop, just as demanding high standards and accountability for educators doesn’t make you anti-teacher. ”

“It isn’t about being against teachers, it’s about saying that we think kids should have a great education,” Mckesson said. “This isn’t about anti-police, it’s about making sure that there are standards for the community to hold people accountable.”

There is so much to unpack with this quote. We specifically want to highlight how it embodies the reformist, neoliberal, and counter-revolutionary approach of non-profits and careerists like DeRay.

Let’s first point out how he made sure to sneak in his neoliberal school reform agenda into his testimony. He’s so used to teachers and public school advocates calling him out, like a slick politician, he’s incorporated his counter to their criticisms into his stump speech on police reform so he can kill two birds with one stone. Just as he believes he is advocating for “great education” when he shills for neoliberal education reform, we can assume that “great policing” is the goal of his police reform efforts.

We do not need “great policing” or “better-trained” officers. We need to overthrow this white supremacist, capitalist state. And the police are the state’s first line of defense any time we move towards this goal. There is no amount of reform or policy that can change this. We do not need cops who treat us nicer when they evict us or arrest us for petty crimes. There is no policy that will demand they stand down when the working class rises up in the streets, workplace, etc.

What drives DeRay’s reactionary position home is when he says “this isn’t about anti-police.” This is a favorite line of liberals and rightist activists, and we should take them at their word.

Any organizing in relation to the police that isn’t fully against them works in favor of the police and their bourgeois handlers and against the working class and oppressed. Any person who seeks liberation must be against the police, without question.

What is so damaging about DeRay’s presence and his dominance over the media coverage is that even if anyone involved in the contract negotiation coalition, whether organizer or community member, understands the need to oppose the police, they have ceded their leadership and message to someone who negates that very position. But outside from DeRay’s participation, the actions of Austin’s liberal left demonstrate their inconsistency as well.

In many circles, radical liberals eagerly adopt the language of police abolition, while continuing to wander again and again into the labyrinth of policy reforms and bourgeois government. This isn’t unforgivable at face value, but we will continue to resist them trying to drag the working class into their quixotic efforts and the fact that they seek to defame anyone who resists or criticizes this process.

It is ironic that in private, many of these organizers in Austin will express the sentiment of being ‘against the police.’ But that disappears when they get in front of a podium. They are allergic to using their platform to express the correct position of the working class. They dance around the fact that there is no good cop and that the police are an institution of class oppression when it comes time to confront them. It is because these mostly petty-bourgeois individuals, specifically professional organizers, are seeking careers and write-ups for their grant proposals, and are not interested in revolution. So they submit to the language and rules of engaging with the bourgeois ruling class and their government, and they police others who do not. This is the nature of opportunism – to consistently bend political positions if it means it will appease the audience they seek favor from, regardless if it’s a betrayal of the working-class line or even their own beliefs.

Meanwhile, those who maintain the stance that the police are not to be negotiated with or spoken to are painted as extremists. The vast majority of the working class are extremists by this measure, who would rather never see a cop again in their life than go into a room and try to figure out a way to make the pig contracts more “accountable.”

We see no need to spend seven hours at city hall observing three-minute speaking limits in order to make these points. Our absence from city hall is not the measure of our willingness to fight for the working class. The working class’s demand is for the pigs to unequivocally get out of our community, which as far as we know, was not expressed at city hall on this night.

The real police contract is non-negotiable under a capitalist society. The ruling class enlists the cops to repress, control, and weaken the will of the working class to fight back against their exploitation. For this, the cops are given innumerable privileges and a status of impunity. This is the case regardless of if one cop out of one hundred faces jail time for murdering unarmed civilians or has “better training.”

While some postmodernists pay lip service to the idea of expelling the pigs, it is absurd to believe that this will be achieved through any sort of technocratic contract negotiation, or by hiding this perspective from the masses. As Marx said, “A communist disdains to hide their views,” and we disdain to hide our total opposition to the police. Additionally, to paraphrase Gonzalo, we only negotiate “what has already been established on the battlefield, because no one is going to give up what they have not obviously lost.” The police have lost nothing in our communities so far except their PR standing (and barely even that), yet the opportunists seek to negotiate while the battle is in its infancy.

Through the building of our forces, we will confirm our ability to defend our communities on our own terms through self-defense and building dual power. The working class has already shown as much organization and spirit to fight in Ferguson and Baltimore as any non-profit coalition and then some. They held down Ferguson for weeks. In Baltimore, high schoolers had cops on the run. Their actions are as valid as any petition or three-minute testimony, and are in fact more valid. They are not fleeting instances, but illustrate the power of the working class that must be harnessed, reproduced, and led by a communist party.

The message that Ferguson and Baltimore sent in those battles will reverberate longer than anything that happens with this police contract dispute. Our future is more street battles like Ferguson, Baltimore, and North Lamar’s resistance to ICE repression in our own city, not more meetings at city hall. The meetings we will be attending will be among the community members themselves, determining our own goals and solutions, not begging with the representatives of the ruling class.

Still, many non-profit activists and revisionists will tell you with a straight face that they are carrying on the legacy of revolutionary groups such as Panthers, ignoring that the organizational purpose of the Panthers was always against collaboration with the police state. The fact that some of the Black Panther Party’s leaders (the ones the state couldn’t kill or neutralize) were incorporated into non-profits and political careers following the party’s decimation cannot be seen as a validation of that path, but instead as evidence of how the state works to absorb and destroy revolutionary movements. The existing NGO hegemony over organizing is the legacy of the state’s smashing of revolutionary movements.

This is why we continue to call on Austinites, especially the working class, to stop participating in the charades at city hall and propping up leaders whose main interest is in preserving the foundation of this system. Reject the neoliberal charlatans like DeRay, who has never met a microphone or camera that he doesn’t like. The petty-bourgeois mentalities of opportunists, non-profits, and liberal organizations fear revolution, and belittle the uprisings of the people as mere catharsis. We have slid backwards since the height of revolutionary energy in this country, when groups such as the Black Panthers demanded the pigs get out of their communities, not requesting that they reform. We seek to honor the memory of the revolutionary leader, Fred Hampton, who the Chicago police assassinated in his own home, and will continue to demand the police leave our communities. This is demand is not up for negotiation.

So what is the vision?

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Bridge shut down in Austin, Texas, in honor of Freddie Gray, in solidarity with the Baltimore rebellion

We understand that among the people there is a contradiction; on one hand the people are well aware that the police are the enemy, that it is the police who shoot their kids and cart them off in the thousands to prison, yet on the other hand, many in our class have a valid concern that they face violent crime and the threat of becoming victims to it. We understand that at times the masses are in danger and they may have no one else to call upon but the very repressive force of the pigs. We find this reality abhorrent and seek to improve community work which can eliminate this problem.

By organizing the community for itself, and taking a hard line against the police, against their history their function and their purpose, we can make our neighborhoods safer and turn them into no-go zones for pigs of all types. The police are always going to be limited in their function of “crime prevention” because no one can trust them, no one should trust them. On the other hand, communities can trust their own members; we have thousands of eyes and ears, nothing slips by the hood. It is the presence of the police who rush in and prevent the masses from solving their own problems which allows anti-people crimes to flourish. By pushing the pigs out, we free up the creativity of the masses of working folks to fight crime in a sensible and human way. With the help of the people’s revolutionary organizations, there is no crime against the people which we could not respond to. We do not need a few men in badges to come in to a place they do not live or understand to enforce the capitalist laws—we need to organize the people to enforce the people’s codes. Unlike the pigs, our people could be elected by the community itself, and they could be subject to recall at any time and be true defenders of their community. With mass participation there is no job too big.

This is not simply a dream; it has been accomplished in history and in areas of the world where people’s revolutionary forces have fought for power. People’s militias double as a type of social workers who serve the masses. They are able to prevent violence peacefully in many cases and respond with defensive violence in other cases. To get to this we need power, and power is exactly what we organize for, because as Lenin said, “without power all is illusion.” We mean people power, which is always positioned against the phony solutions of the “non-profits” and liberals who insist we appease both the ruling class and those they brutalize, exploit, and dominate. Our solution is for our people, not the pigs.

No more pigs in our community!

Dare to struggle, dare to win!

—Red Guards Austin, December 2017

Fascists—outnumbered and humiliated in Austin

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On December 9 in Austin, Texas, right-wing white nationalists and other fascists used the verdict in the Kate Steinle case as a call to “ban sanctuary cities,” latching on to a murder case only to whip up anti-immigrant and xenophobic hysteria in a Hitlerite fashion. They managed to gather 12 to 15 decrepit reactionaries, one self-hating black man, an InfoWars hack, and a dog. They came prepared for a fight, not a “vigil.” The very notion that this was a vigil was a thin lie that anyone could see through—sticks, shields, megaphones, and Confederate flags are not common items at a vigil.

Antifascists in Austin, however, drastically outnumbered the fascists and their supporters. Whenever this is the case, due to fear of the reactionaries getting hurt, the police come out in full force. There were as many or more police than there were antifascists, all to protect a small handful of belligerent racists. The reactionaries were seen trembling with fear in Wooldridge Park for about an hour and a half before they attempted their “march,” a “march” that was stopped every 50 feet and blockaded by Austin’s committed antifascist fighters. The police used bicycles, sticks, and tasers to form a protective pig wall around the scared fascist scum. The city of Austin felt it necessary to spend thousands of dollars to protect the hate speech of a few hardcore racists: this is your tax money at work. In spite of the heavy presence of pigs scrambling to protect the fascists, they could not prevent stiff resistance and ensure the march continued without confrontation. Fascists were pepper-sprayed, and any attempt at attack on or intimidation of the people of our city was met with a swift response. The very fascists who claim to have been only peace-loving vigil-goers were heard (and recorded) yelling, “Charlottesville 2,” celebrating the death of Heather Heyer and encouraging white-supremacist terror attacks like those committed by James Alex Fields.

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Racists (the “Highwaymen”) holding up white-power symbol and confederate flags.

The threat of white-supremacist terror was almost made good as the police were forced to arrest one of the fascists for drawing a handgun on counter-demonstrators, Robert Patrick Hewitt, 29, one of the men who was heard chanting “Charlottesville 2,” which in the context should be understood as a death threat. Our partisans were ready and focused on the handful of fascists. As the police instigated a small riot, the nearest pig had no choice but to cuff Hewitt and remove him from the crowd. Some news reports claim Hewitt pointed his handgun at the police, but the truth is that the police simply crossed his line of fire, and Hewitt was taking aim at a protester who had fallen to the ground. Since the riot was in fact a police riot, we hold them accountable for anything that might happen should fascists continue escalation. In the state of Texas, drawing on a gun on someone or on a crowd of people is legal grounds to use lethal force in self-defense; this is a reality that partisans remain ready to face.

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Fascist Robert Patrick Hewitt
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Hewitt being arrested

We have zero doubts that had Hewitt been one of the antifascists that the police themselves would have used lethal force, as the Austin Police Department is known for gunning down unarmed black people. If you wonder how a fascist can get off with $40,000 bail and taken in without incident while black Austin residents Byron Carter, Larry Jackson Jr., and David Joseph were all murdered by the same police department despite the fact that they had no guns and committed no crimes, look no further than the same white supremacy that has fascists coming to Austin to oppose sanctuary cities.

The police will only protect and serve white supremacy. It is up to all of us to get involved any way we can in opposition to them and what they represent.

Humiliating and stopping fascists from marching in our city never comes without a price. After the police started a riot by assaulting counter-protesters, the pigs reportedly received injuries and charged 4 people at random with assault and interference. Two of the four comrades now in the clutches of the pig system are facing trumped-up first-degree felony charges. We will help fight these charges, and we will win, but we need your help. The first line of defense against fascists is people taking the streets, resisting them, and using self-defense. The second line of defense is in the courts, and for that we need lawyers and donations. The state consistently protects white supremacists that are unstable and dangerous, like James Alex Fields and Robert Patrick Hewitt, while it simultaneously trumps up charges against antifascists. Unlike the right-wing with its deep pockets and support from the bourgeoisie, the antifascist movement only has working-class folks to support it. Please dig deep, support our antifascist troops, and share the link to the online fundraiser or organize a fundraiser locally.

Link to online fundraiser here: Defend comrades fighting anti-immigrant fascism

Free our comrades now!

¡No pasarán!

-Red Guards Austin, December 2017

Call to ban the abuser Carlos Salamanca from all revolutionary spaces (RSF-ATX)

We wholeheartedly endorse the following call, written by Revolutionary Student Front – Austin. We are sharing it here in order to ensure that the broadest possible audience sees this statement and helps protect the masses and revolutionary organizations.

Note: Pictures of Carlos are at the bottom of this post.

Following a thorough investigation, the Revolutionary Student Front has found ex-member and former UT student Carlos Salamanca guilty of abuse and manipulation of multiple women over a period of multiple years, including while he was organizing with RSF. We have determined it is necessary to ban him from participating to any degree within the revolutionary left in Austin. Though he had gained a negative reputation among some groups at the University of Texas throughout his years there, we were not made aware of specific accusations against him nor the severity of his actions until the last few months. During the past three months, he was removed from the organization as he was investigated for multiple transgressions, including physical and sexual assault, emotional abuse and manipulation, serial cheating, and more patriarchal behaviors. We found all of these to be true even at Carlos’s own admission when confronted with the facts.

Soon after the investigation began, Carlos relocated to his hometown. Since then, he has decided to relocate to Chicago within the next few months. Because we believe that even some of the worst types can be transformed into true revolutionaries through hard-fought struggle and rectification, the Steering Committee of RSF initially offered Carlos a chance at political transformation. This process would have included being under very specific and strict guidelines designed to keep both organizers and the masses safe from his abusive behavior. Ultimately, he rejected this offer so that he could continue on his plans to move to Chicago. We see this as a rejection of any and all accountability for his actions, a rejection of the necessity for him to change, and thus a desire to continue forward with his self-serving, manipulative behavior.

In his time at UT, Carlos repeatedly jumped from organization to organization and from one social group to the next, leaving each as he lost the ability to manipulate the people in those groups to his social, sexual, and emotional benefit. He ultimately burned bridges entirely with each organization, and hopped to the next group, taking up the cloak of whatever political tendency suited the space (in RSF as a “Maoist”). By leaving Austin entirely, he expects to turn to a blank page in his book where he can continue his exploits without having to deal with the bridges he burned in Austin.

Carlos utilizes identity-reductionist politics in order to gain access to emotional and sexual intimacy. He is thoroughly liberal despite being a self-proclaimed communist. He has been involved with national liberation movements, anti-gentrification activism, and student organizing. He often rejects, underhandedly, the leadership of women or feminine-presenting people. Carlos is an alcoholic, and though he claims to have been sober for a while, he is very likely to begin drinking again, which nearly always exacerbates his misogynistic behaviors. The physical and sexual assaults that we investigated occurred while he was drunk, though he should be considered a threat both while sober and intoxicated. He has repeatedly engaged in gaslighting and lying both to romantic interests and comrades he organized with. He consistently acts in service of himself with no care for the emotional or physical repercussions suffered by others.

Carlos was in Mexican-American Studies at UT. Currently, we do not believe he intends to return to UT, but we believe he will attempt to continue his studies elsewhere, online or at another university. He has claimed that he will stay away from all radical spaces from now on. We do not believe this in the least bit given his long history of political organizing and the political nature of his studies.

Before he rejected the opportunity to attempt rectification, we notified organizations in Austin whom we are friendly with of the results of the investigation and included a request to bar him from organizing with them or attending their events. We now believe that, in order to protect others and to prevent him from organizing in Chicago or any other city, we must notify our supporters, the broader Austin activist community, and any organizers and students in Chicago that he may try to cozy up to. In order to protect the safety of the women in activist organizations, on campuses, and all around, we ask that anyone who reads this chooses to bar him from their organizing and social spaces by any means necessary. If he is seen in Austin, please inform us immediately. If he begins to organize in Chicago we will do everything in our power to notify those he organizes with of our investigation and conclusion.

Revolutionary Student Front – Austin
December 5, 2017

Pictures of Carlos:

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Solidarity to Maoist Communist Party of France on the passing of Comrade Pierre

Our collective, since its early start has been inspired by the Maoists in France who have since then founded their party—the PCM. We are saddened by news of the loss of Comrade Pierre. We extend our condolences, love and respect to his Party, a party which has motivated us and taught us many things.  Pierre as a senior leader of the PCM has touched many lives all over the world, their loss is our own.  Last month one of our members was able to meet Comrade Pierre and we have included a short statement from this comrade.  To the PCM, your loss is felt across oceans!

– Red Guards Austin, Dec 5, 2017

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Ofrendas for Pierre

Some thoughts for a veteran comrade

When you are a member of an organization which is repressed, harassed, and surveilled, going as far as the corner store can be a troublesome experience, and going across the world is considerably more difficult. Delays, extra precautions, bureaucratic paperwork, and jet lag are just the most minor of considerations. My journey to France however, was made worthwhile by getting to meet a veteran leader of the Maoist movement of that country. Comrade Pierre was in his eighties, he was still fit and mobile, and he spoke fast and sharp. Even with a considerable language barrier, we immediately bonded over the concept of urban PPW: “Like a steel belt around the city,” we both said at the same time in different languages.

I have been many places and met many comrades, but none so far have left the kind of impression on me as Comrade Pierre did. His mastery of MLM, his way of expressing himself, his lifetime of militant experience—all were above and beyond expectation. I am honored to have sat with a giant.

We spoke of many, many things over the span of a few days, days now laced with a tinge of loss. Most teachers if they are worth anything can impart a great deal of knowledge given enough time. Truly great teachers will impart this knowledge much more quickly. Pierre stated that we are not eternal, and in the biological sense he was of course correct, a thesis he would prove less than one month later. In the other sense, Pierre, you are indeed eternal. Your experience has trained a movement, built a party, a great party—the PCM. There are many comrades who will not hesitate to continue fighting on in your stead, and you live now in each of our struggles.

A fighter in May ’68, a tireless supporter of the people’s war in Peru, and a student of Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Gonzalo—you are a part of a whole. Many people in their eighties remark of the rashness of their youth, show concern that they were too extreme, and the excesses (when they admit them) light a small glimmer in their otherwise dull eyes. This glimmer, however, never left Pierre’s eyes for a moment. We spoke well into late nights, and on early mornings his stamina was greater than comrades’ a quarter of his age. Not for a moment did he lament militancy. He would wield it like the sword of truth: “This time we will go further!” Many men were militant; Pierre was a militant who never stopped.

His inspiration and his remarkable revolutionary life will be carried with me for the rest of mine. I hope to develop half the commitment and knowledge that he showed. Upon parting for what would be the final time, he grasped my arms with a firm grip, looked directly at me, and told me, in English, “Remember—and do not forget—build the party!” I gave him my word that I would give my whole life to this, and I aim to make good on my word.

We may have been locked in struggles half a world apart, but we are all in the same class, children of the proletariat, who must build our parties and wage our wars. The whole of the PCM has lost a great fighter, teacher, and revolutionary, but we too in the international communist movement have lost a rare and dedicated comrade, a comrade who cared deeply for the trajectory of world revolution and never took his glimmering eyes off of the final goal of communism.

Red salute to the very best among us! The only way to properly honor our dead is to continue the fight! Comrade Pierre is eternal! Long live PCM, long live MLM, long live Pierre!

………

Statment from PCM in English: Comrade Pierre is immortal